Hey Everyone! Today I want to talk to you about life balance. Being “busy” is not always a good thing. Between work, school, kids, family, friends, home improvement projects, and an endless list of other activities you might be involved in, it can be difficult to have a healthy balance in your life.
The Four Dimensions
According to Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there are four main pieces to balance. There’s physical which includes things like: exercise, nutrition, and rest. There’s mental which includes: reading, writing, visualizing, and thinking. There’s spiritual which includes: value clarification, commitment and meditation. Then the last one is social/emotional which includes: service, empathy and intrinsic security.
Too Much of One Thing
Each of these areas in our lives is important. Almost no one has 100% balance, but that’s not necessary either. What is necessary is not focusing on only one or two areas and allowing other ones suffer. Since most of us spend so much time at work, we likely get plenty of at least one. Usually this is either mental or physical depending on the type of work we do. Sometimes we’re lucky enough that our work includes some of both which makes it easier to balance.
Why is it important to have balance?
Just like with anything, too much of one thing can be detrimental to your health and to your success in life. If you neglect your physical, your health will diminish. You’ll be tired, you’ll be stressed, you’ll gain weight and have increased likelihood of many diseases. If you neglect your mental, you won’t excel and move forward in your life. You won’t be able to keep up with your peers, you won’t set life goals and so you won’t know if you’ve succeeded.
If you neglect your spiritual, you won’t know what’s important and so you will spend your time focusing on the wrong things and only thinking in the short term. You’ll have no dedication to your goals and purpose. If you neglect social/emotional, you’ll be unable to relate and build relationships with those around you and you’ll have no desire to focus your efforts on others which creates purpose and a gratifying life.
Here’s the Why
Having balance in these 4 areas helps you excel in other areas. Physical wellness improves your mental wellness by reducing stress, improving mental fortitude and cognitive functioning. Spiritual wellness improves your social/emotional wellness by helping you focus on what’s important like helping others and spending time with those you love. It also improves your physical wellness because it creates focus on long term goals like physical well-being because you want to be healthy enough to achieve your goals. Each area works with the others to create a well-rounded and functioning individual.
So How do we Find Balance?
We have to be intentional about our actions. We have to schedule and commit to taking time out of our day to focus on each of these areas. That means dedicating time to exercise and sleep. Dedicating time to thinking about our life goals and about self-improvement and learning new things. It also means setting aside time to focus on others and how you can positively impact their lives. People can’t survive on their own. They need others to improve their mental, social, and spiritual well-being.
If creating balance, means that you need to put 20-30 minutes a day for exercise in your calendar, or setting aside an hour a week to study and improve in some area of your life, or even carve out 30 minutes to sit and listen to someone important to your life then make it happen! The benefits of a small amount of time invested in each area will pay big dividends and lead you to ultimate success.